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  • July 4, 2011
  • 12:41 AM
  • 1,688 views

“Oh wad some power the giftie gie us To see oursel’s as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, And foolish notion”

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

That quote from Robbie Burns. For such a long time it seems that pain research has focused only on the person having pain and less on the social context where the person is experiencing it. Pain is subjective, personal and private, and the only way I can determine whether someone is in pain is if … Read more... Read more »

  • July 3, 2011
  • 04:03 AM
  • 1,090 views

The NeuROFLscience of Jokes

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A new paper in the Journal of Neuroscience investigates the neural basis of humour: Why Clowns Taste Funny.The authors note that some things are funny because of ambiguous words. For example:Q: Why don’t cannibals eat clowns?A: Because they taste funny!Previous studies, apparently, have shown that these kinds of jokes lead to activation in the lIFG (left inferior frontal gyrus), although it's also involved in processing ambiguity that's not funny, and indeed, language in general.In this study ........ Read more »

Bekinschtein TA, Davis MH, Rodd JM, & Owen AM. (2011) Why Clowns Taste Funny: The Relationship between Humor and Semantic Ambiguity. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(26), 9665-71. PMID: 21715632  

  • July 2, 2011
  • 12:21 PM
  • 2,293 views

Community & Kinship at Catalhoyuk

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Strange things are afoot at Catalhoyuk (7400-5600 BCE), one of the earliest and most important Neolithic (i.e., sedentary and agricultural) sites known to archaeology. As I noted in Bones, Burials and Ancestors, mortuary practices at Catalhoyuk were unusual and often involved secondary burial in the floors of homes.

The assumption has always been that these were [...]... Read more »

Pilloud, Marin A., & Larsen, Clark Spencer. (2011) “Official” and “practical” kin: Inferring social and community structure from dental phenotype at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. info:/10.1002/ajpa.21520

  • July 1, 2011
  • 08:50 PM
  • 1,677 views

Q&A's with a Science Journalist: 'It's All Relativity'

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

This week I am interviewing Louise Ogden, a science blogger on our own community blog Student Voices, which is hosted on Scitable by Nature Education. Louise also has her own science blog, It’s All Relativity, where she talks about space missions, climate change, exoplanets, solar eclipses, and much more! Louise is currently finishing up her Masters project at City University in London, which will earn her an (exciting!) degree in science journalism.... Read more »

Alison Wright. (2010) High-energy physics: Top of the class . Nature Physics, 6(644). info:/10.1038/nphys1783

  • July 1, 2011
  • 02:22 PM
  • 1,360 views

Wilderness housing boom challenges conservation

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

The housing boom may be over in the United States, but things look very different when you take a step back. Since the 1940s, housing has grown at about 20 percent each decade. And while the current recession may have slowed things down, we’ll have to start building more houses eventually if we’re to house [...]... Read more »

Radeloff, V., Stewart, S., Hawbaker, T., Gimmi, U., Pidgeon, A., Flather, C., Hammer, R., & Helmers, D. (2009) Housing growth in and near United States protected areas limits their conservation value. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(2), 940-945. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0911131107  

  • July 1, 2011
  • 11:49 AM
  • 921 views

And the Oscar goes to…Science!?

by Ben Good in B Good Science

Hollywood has never had a particularly good reputation for scientific accuracy. However, recently its science acumen has received a boost. It is currently the first time that the ‘reigning’ best actor and actress have been both been scientifically published. Colin Firth, has taken time out from swimming in country lakes and stuttering to co-author a [...]... Read more »

  • July 1, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 2,419 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Should we channel Donna Reed and James Dean?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Really?  Tell me it isn’t so.  Okay. We are not so sure about this one. We’ve spent lots of time telling you about research that talks about being likable, how to be persuasive to juries, and the importance of jurors seeing you as “like” them but still true to yourself. So now, we have new research saying that [...]


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  • July 1, 2011
  • 01:00 AM
  • 2,632 views

When Diseases Talk: Tuberculosis and Its Impression on Literature

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

A skiagram of the chest, showing miliary mottling, suggestive of Pulmonary Koch’s Disease in both lungs. there is also an opacity of the right upper lobe suggestive of active pulmonary disease. Patient was an 84 year old man, with a … Continue reading →... Read more »

DANIEL, T. (2004) The impact of tuberculosis on civilization. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, 18(1), 157-165. DOI: 10.1016/S0891-5520(03)00096-5  

  • June 30, 2011
  • 05:16 PM
  • 1,216 views

No effect of religion on creative accountancy and book fiddling

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The joy of accountancy is that it is no longer a simple game of adding up money in versus money out. Financial dealings these days are so complex that there is an almost infinite number of ways to hide or massage bad figures - if you want to, that is (think: Enron).

Now, the really fascinating thing is you can see this happening at an aggregate level. For example, you can look at how reporting of profits and losses vary from year to year, to see if accountants are smoothing the figures. You can........ Read more »

  • June 30, 2011
  • 11:49 AM
  • 992 views

Remember, it's a Sidebar, Not a Bar Fight: Reason With, Not At, Your Adversary and Judge

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - The popular image of legal argument is most often a polished and professional presentation, made from a podium in front of a jury or judge. To those of us court watchers who read transcripts, it is clear that the biggest roll-up-your-sleeves-and-argue moments are often at sidebar - those conferences conducted with counsel huddled awkwardly by the bench and speaking either in hushed tones or over the white noise that is supposed to prevent a jury from listening in. Due to ........ Read more »

  • June 30, 2011
  • 09:00 AM
  • 2,094 views

Obesity As a Social Diagnosis

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

As blogged before, obesity has long been defined by the World Health Organisation and other bodies as a chronic disease and even bears its own diagnostic code in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9: 278.00, ICD-10: E65).
Nevertheless, the notion of obesity as a ‘disease’ continues to be contested with proponents of the medical model being [...]... Read more »

Brown P, Lyson M, & Jenkins T. (2011) From diagnosis to social diagnosis. Social science . PMID: 21705128  

  • June 29, 2011
  • 04:18 PM
  • 1,546 views

Through the Language Glass (Part 2) [reposted]

by Chris in The Lousy Linguist

This is part 2 of my review of Guy Deutscher's new book Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages. This covers The Language Lens (129-249). Part 1 is here. This review will cover the scientific evidence that Deutscher reviews suggesting that language affects thought, and will end with a shocking proposal.To sum up my review of part one: meh. Okay, we've established that culture can influence language. This is a lot less controversial than Deutscher makes it see........ Read more »

Guy deutscher. (2010) Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages. Metropolitan Books. info:/

  • June 29, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,377 views

Just because you’re pretty/handsome—don’t count on my vote!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s some research that flies in the face of the common wisdom “what is pretty is good”. Most of us have seen (or heard about) the research that says physically attractive people  tend to make better initial impressions on others. It seems that there is some fine print that goes with that adage, and you [...]


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  • June 28, 2011
  • 11:00 AM
  • 1,108 views

This is your brain in the city

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

For a kid who spent much of his childhood outdoors—alternately splitting time between the wooded park down the street, my friends’ backyards, and a patch of countryside my parent’s tended—I have been spending a lot of time in rather large cities as an adult. Ever since I left college, I’ve lived in cities that count [...]... Read more »

Lederbogen, F., Kirsch, P., Haddad, L., Streit, F., Tost, H., Schuch, P., Wüst, S., Pruessner, J., Rietschel, M., Deuschle, M.... (2011) City living and urban upbringing affect neural social stress processing in humans. Nature, 474(7352), 498-501. DOI: 10.1038/nature10190  

  • June 28, 2011
  • 03:15 AM
  • 995 views

Machine-Readable Psychiatry

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

The idea of trawling the internet to discover what people think about medications is a fascinating one and I've covered some attempts to do this in the past, but it's not easy. And there's something worrying about where it could lead.A new paper aims to trawl medical records to work out how well depressed patients responded to treatment. The authors used Natural Language Processing or NLP (not that NLP) to interpret electronic medical records from over 5,000 patients treated at hospitals in New ........ Read more »

Perlis RH, Iosifescu DV, Castro VM, Murphy SN, Gainer VS, Minnier J, Cai T, Goryachev S, Zeng Q, Gallagher PJ.... (2011) Using electronic medical records to enable large-scale studies in psychiatry: treatment resistant depression as a model. Psychological medicine, 1-10. PMID: 21682950  

  • June 27, 2011
  • 08:09 AM
  • 924 views

That's Right, The Women Are Smarter: Pay Attention to Your Jury's Social Intelligence

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

"The men totally dominated the discussion the last time,” said JoAnn Chiakulas, the hold-out juror in former Illinois Governor Blagojevich's first corruption trial, “and a lot of the women were not treated very nicely.” Now that the former governor's new jury consists of eleven women and one man you might expect a change in that department. But this second jury has been, as I'm writing this post, deliberating for eleven days. The temptation is to say, "well, it is probably because of t........ Read more »

Woolley AW, Chabris CF, Pentland A, Hashmi N, & Malone TW. (2010) Evidence for a collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6004), 686-8. PMID: 20929725  

  • June 27, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,543 views

Are women just better for your jury?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

According to some new research, it certainly is possible. This is one of those research papers with very intriguing but totally unexpected results. And now, they’ve replicated the findings twice according to a recent entry at the Harvard Business Review website. What the researchers did was to assess intelligence of research subjects and then assigned [...]


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Woolley AW, Chabris CF, Pentland A, Hashmi N, & Malone TW. (2010) Evidence for a collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6004), 686-8. PMID: 20929725  

  • June 27, 2011
  • 05:30 AM
  • 1,960 views

The deleterious impact of snacking on journalistic integrity

by Yoni Freedhoff in Weighty Matters

It's been a bad few weeks for obesity related press releases.The first was that press release from CIHI, where its headline and first paragraph served here in Canada, to lead journalists to declare that all that's necessary to combat obesity are 15 minutes of exercise a day, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (and consequently anyone who's obese is lazy and eats Ding Dongs for supper).Now there's this one.It came from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and it was released in ........ Read more »

  • June 27, 2011
  • 02:54 AM
  • 2,075 views

“It’s Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry”

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice




Photo credit here.
Readers may find that the title for this post triggers a certain refrain by Chicago (or BoysIIMen, depending on how old you are). Apologies in advance to those of you who may find yourself humming the chorus on your drive home or while walking through the halls of your workplace or campus. Or while grocery shopping. Or brushing your teeth. (The power of suggestion is a curious thing.) Of course, you may question how sorry I really am considering that I made a conscious deci........ Read more »

de Waal, FB. (2000) Primates--A Natural Heritage of Conflict Resolution. Science (New York, N.Y.), 289(5479), 586-90. PMID: 10915614  

Schlenker, B. and Darby, B. (1981) The Use of Apologies in Social Predicaments. Social Psychology Quarterly., 44(3), 271-278. info:/

  • June 27, 2011
  • 01:06 AM
  • 1,938 views

Not knowing English good for business?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

The current global orthodoxy holds that learning English is good: individuals who know English are supposed to have an advantage in the job market and countries with large English-learning populations are supposed to be “developing” and “modernizing.” Critical sociolinguists have, … Continue reading →... Read more »

NEIL M. COE, JENNIFER JOHNS AND KEVIN WARD. (2012) Limits to expansion: transnational corporations and territorial embeddedness in the Japanese temporary staffing market. Global Networks, 12(1), 1-26. info:/

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